Presented on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at the Chemung Valley History Museum as part of the Chemung County Historical Society Mark Twain Series.
Mark Twain was the manifestation of the American public's increasing demand for celebrities who could attest to the cultural cohesion of a federation of states and territories which often seemed to have little in common. Celebrity culture exploded during the Gilded Age, but its potential power was evident even early in the life of Samuel Clemens. This is a story about the celebrity and the coming of the Civil War.
Matt Seybold is Assistant Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College. He is the resident scholar at the Center for Mark Twain Studies and editor of MarkTwainStudies.org.